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Xbox live fees to be scrapped by Microsoft? You must be mad!

by Steven Williamson on 1 August 2008, 13:42

Tags: Xbox 360, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Xbox 360

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With Microsoft's recent announcement that the yearly fee for Gold membership to its Games For Windows live service has been scrapped, Xbox 360 gamers have been keeping their fingers and toes crossed in the hope that it will follow suit and abolish Xbox live fees.

It was wishful thinking though we’re afraid, because it’s blatantly obvious that the only reason the Games For Windows live service is now free is because it needs to be more attractive to the consumer as it obviously wasn’t getting the sign-ups it needed, Xbox live is a totally different thing altogether with over 10 million subscribers.

Out of those Xbox live subscribers, maybe around half are paying for a Gold subscription, so why the hell would Microsoft just scrap the fee and lose out on millions of pounds worth of free money each year? It would be a crazy move.

Chris Satchell, CTO of Microsoft’s Entertainment devices division has responded to whispers about the fee for the Xbox live service by confirming that there will be no changes made in the foreseeable future and that gamers are still getting the 'best bargain in the industry".

“For only a few pounds a month Xbox Live Gold members already get access to the best online gaming network in the industry, the ability to play and watch countless demos and trailers before the rest of the gaming community, and video chat and messaging.”

It may be a bitter pill to swallow for Xbox 360 fans, when you consider that PS3 gamers are enjoying a similar Playstation Network service free of charge, but you can't deny that Microsoft do offer a more robust and feature-extensive service than its rival and it will be hoping that its new sparkley-smooth 3D interface, which arrives this Autumn, will continue to tempt Xbox live subscribers into parting with around £40 a year of their hard-earned cash.

HEXUS Forums :: 17 Comments

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I think Microsoft should offer an ad funded alternative to the gold membership as well as a paid membership that they already have.
IMHO, like anything in life, if you want the best, you're going to have to pay for it, in the big scheme of things, the xbox live subscription, over 12 months is reasonably good value, in return for what you do actually get :)
The only thing that could possibly stop MS from charging for XBL is if Sony get their finger out and equal it with Sonys free PSN - which won't happen anytime soon…if at all.

There's no way MS will stop charging, they're leading the way with XBL and until there's a rival to compete with it nothing will change.
I'm really impressed by the online stuff the 360 offers… but what XBL GOLD offers on top of the normal “silver” service, i'm not toooooo sure if its worth paying extra for.
Agree, its not actually much (£39.99 rrp a year), but when PS3 and Wii are offering online Vs gaming for free anyway, the only thing its offering is the ability to download demos a couple of weeks earlier than silver members…
some games are allready playable on a silver account…..